Friday, April 2, 2021
Friday, March 26, 2021
Saturday, March 20, 2021
In First, physical space has come to be conflated with geometry. Whereas the notions of a point, a line, a plane and the like were originally merely simplifying abstractions from concrete physical reality, the modern tendency has been to treat them as if they were the constituents of concrete physical reality. But then a second stage of abstraction occurs when geometrical concepts are in turn conflated with values in a coordinate system. Points are defined in terms of numbers, relations between points in terms of numerical intervals, length, width and depth in terms of axes originated from a point, and so on. Time gets folded into the system by representing it with a further axis. Creative mathematical manipulations of this doubly abstract system of representation are then taken to reveal surprising truths about the nature of the concrete space and time we actually live in., Raymond Tallis notes how this has happened in modern thinking about the nature of space and time.
Friday, March 12, 2021
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
The Thomistic Institute also makes available . And while we’re on the subject, I should also call attention to a similar but different project, the superb , which are in English, French, and Spanish. Hours and hours of worthwhile viewing!
Thursday, March 4, 2021
A “preventive war” is a war undertaken proactively against a merely potential enemy, who has neither initiated hostilities nor shown any sign of intending imminently to do so. The Japanese attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor is a famous example. This is not to be confused with a “preemptive war,” which involves a proactive attack on an enemy who has shown signs of intending to initiate hostilities. The Arab-Israeli Six-Day War is a standard example.
Thursday, February 25, 2021
Sunday, February 21, 2021
Fr. John Naugle’s Spiked on . The BBC on . A new study finds that the more severe lockdowns ..
At PREVIEWSworld, Mark Judge on , at First Things. his gargantuan new book .
Richard Marshall at 3:16.
Friday, February 12, 2021
knowledge, as modern philosophers use the term, is knowledge that can be gained independently of sensory experience. Knowledge of mathematical and logical truths – 2 + 2 = 4, ~ (p • ~ p), etc. – provide the stock examples. Anselm’s ontological argument contrasts with arguments like Aquinas’s Five Ways by trying to reason to God’s existence in a manner that is a priori in this sense. Aquinas begins with empirical premises (about the reality of change, the existence of causal chains in nature, etc.) and reasons to God as the cause of the facts described in the premises. Anselm’s argument, by contrast, begins with a definition of God as the greatest conceivable being and an axiom to the effect that what exists in reality is greater than what exists in thought alone, and reasons to God’s existence as the logical implication of these a priori premises.
Saturday, February 6, 2021
religion, n. 1. the sum of truths and duties binding man to God. 2. personal belief and worship in relation to God. Religion includes creed, cult, and code.
By “creed,” what Wuellner has in mind is a system of doctrine. A “cult,” in this context, has to do with a system of rituals of the kind associated with worship and the like. The “code” referred to has to do with a system of moral principles. So, the definition is telling us that doctrines, rituals, and moral principles are among the key elements of religion.
Sunday, January 31, 2021
Monday, January 25, 2021
Thursday, January 21, 2021
Friday, January 15, 2021
McGinn characterizes the issue as:
the question [of] …what it is for something to have being. What does existence itself consist in – what is its nature? When something exists, what exactly is true of it? What kind of condition is existence? How does an existent thing differ from a nonexistent thing? (p. 211)
Friday, January 8, 2021
Wednesday, January 6, 2021
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Saturday, December 26, 2020
Sunday, December 20, 2020
Saturday, December 12, 2020
However, while these things are true of the institution of the state in general, they do not entail the existence of any particular state. That is to say, while the natural law and our supernatural end require that there be states, they don’t require that there exists Germany, specifically, or the United States, or China. For the most part, the same thing is true of empires. Nothing in natural law or in our supernatural end requires that there be a British Empire, specifically, or a Mongol Empire.
Friday, December 4, 2020
Plato held that the Form of the Good makes other Forms intelligible to us in a way comparable to how the sun makes physical objects visible to us. He also took our knowledge of the Forms to be inexplicable in empirical terms, since the Forms have a necessity, eternity, and perfection that the objects of the senses lack. His solution was to regard knowledge of the Forms as a kind of recollection of a direct access the soul had to them prior to its entrapment in the body.
Thursday, November 26, 2020
The rediscovery of hell. At First Things, Cardinal Pell abandons Balthasarian wishful thinking.
Never mind 2020. David Oderberg asks:
The AARP magazine on the heartbreaking last days of Stan Lee.
Monday, November 23, 2020
Saturday, November 21, 2020
and therefore he is like a part in relation to the whole. But he who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god.
Aristotle, Politics, Book I
At The American Conservative, Rod Dreher Trueman argues that the collapse of traditional sexual morality cannot be understood except as a consequence of a radically individualist conception of the self that has been working its way ever deeper into every nook and cranny of the Western mind through the course of the modern age – including the minds of many so-called conservatives. Yet too few defenders of traditional sexual morality realize this. Trueman says: about his new book .
Thursday, November 12, 2020
Trump’s fiercest critics are hardly in any position to disagree. For years they insisted with shrill confidence that Trump “colluded” with Russia to steal the 2016 election – even though, as honest lefties like and vainly tried to warn them, that was a conspiracy theory for which there never was serious evidence.
Thursday, November 5, 2020
Edward Feser’s Aristotle’s Revenge is presented as a philosophical defence of Aristotelianism in its robust scholastic form, as exemplified by the work of Thomas Aquinas. This broadly Thomist Aristotelianism, Feser argues, far from being a block to the study of nature, provides a metaphysics that is the necessary foundation for any science of nature, from physics to psychology. The “revenge” lies in this fact, and most especially in the indispensability of Aristotelian doctrine to the very understanding of science and scientific investigation itself…
Monday, November 2, 2020
Months of lawlessness have left people on edge and anxious, and their anxiety is unlikely to be much abated by the outcome of the election. For either the party of lawlessness will win, or it will lose and manifest its fury in further rioting, looting, burning, hounding of political enemies, and attempted subversion of lawful authorities. There remains much to be anxious about either way, and there likely will be for some time.
Friday, October 30, 2020
Analects of Confucius, Book XIII
But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
“Weasel words,” as that expression is usually understood, are words that are deliberately used in a vague or ambiguous way so as to allow the speaker to avoid saying what he really thinks. The phrase is inspired by the way a weasel can suck out the contents of an egg in a manner that leaves the shell largely intact. A weasel word is like a hollowed-out egg, one that seems on the surface to have content but which is in fact empty.
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Thursday, October 15, 2020
Last April, Fr. John Naugle argued in He revisits the issue in . Some Catholic defenders of the lockdowns are people who, in other contexts, claim to stand up for the rights of workers and to oppose consequentialist thinking. But as Fr. Naugle points out, their rationalizations for the lockdowns are precisely consequentialist in character – pitting the alleged benefits of lockdowns against inviolable natural rights – and harm workers far more than any other segment of society. that indefinite lockdowns violate the natural human right to labor in order to provide for oneself and one’s family, and thus are deeply contrary to social justice.
Monday, October 12, 2020
Saturday, October 10, 2020
No one who claims to favor Biden over Trump on the grounds of protecting “democratic norms” can, at this point, be speaking in good faith. They are either culpably deceiving themselves or cynically trying to deceive others. Packing the Supreme Court would be as radical a violation of “democratic norms” as any president has ever attempted. It would destroy the independence of the judiciary, making of the court a dictatorship for the party in power. Yet Biden and Harris persistently refuse to say whether they favor court-packing. Biden has now said that voters “don’t deserve” to know his position on this absolutely crucial issue before the election – even though he acknowledges that “it’s a great question” and says he doesn’t blame people for asking it! Can you imagine the hysteria that would ensue if Trump gave such a lunatic answer to a question that momentous? This is reason enough not to vote for Biden, whether or not you vote for Trump.
Thursday, October 8, 2020
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Friday, September 18, 2020
Trade must not be entirely kept out of a city, since one cannot easily find any place so overflowing with the necessaries of life as not to need some commodities from other parts. Also, when there is an over-abundance of some commodities in one place, these goods would serve no purpose if they could not be carried elsewhere by professional traders. Consequently, the perfect city will make a moderate use of merchants.
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Saturday, September 5, 2020
The members of mankind share the same basic rights and duties, as well as the same supernatural destiny. Within a country which belongs to each one, all should be equal before the law, find equal admittance to economic, cultural, civic and social life and benefit from a fair sharing of the nation's riches. (Octogesima Adveniens 16).
This suggests a useful definition of racism, which is best understood as the denial of what the pope here affirms. In other words, racism is the thesis that not all races have the same basic rights and duties and/or supernatural destiny, so that not all races should be equal before the law, find equal admittance to economic, cultural, civic and social life, or benefit from a fair sharing of the nation's riches.